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Space & Astronomy

Huge black hole is spinning so fast that it's distorting space-time

By T.K. Randall
November 30, 2023 · Comment icon 5 comments
Saggitarius A black hole.
Saggitarius A*. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 EHT Collaboration / ESO
The huge black hole at the center of our galaxy is spinning at such an extreme rate that it is literally squishing space-time.
Deep at the very heart of the Milky Way lies a behemoth of galactic proportions.

Known as Sagittarius A*, this gargantuan (or supermassive) black hole has an almost incomprehensible mass equivalent to 4.1 billion Suns and measures 32 million miles in diameter.

Exactly how this enormous black hole came to form, as well as the role it played in the formation of the galaxy, is not yet fully understood.
Now in a new study, scientists have used data collected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory telescope to calculate the speed at which Sagittarius A* is spinning.

The team discovered that the black hole is spinning so rapidly that it is literally dragging space-time along with it.

"If you have a rapidly rotating black hole, the space-time around it is not symmetric - the spinning black hole is dragging all of the space-time around with it," lead study author Ruth Daly told CNN.

"It squishes down the space-time, and it sort of looks like a football."

Source: Business Insider | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Rolci 3 months ago
"Spinning so fast that it's distorting space-time"??? What, if it were spinning slowly it wouldn't be distorting space-time then?
Comment icon #2 Posted by josellama2000 3 months ago
I think they tried to include the addition of relativistic mass caused the kinetic energy of rotation. But that mass may be nothing compared with the whole mass of the black hole, unless something weird happens that makes its linear velocity of rotation is really close to C. Moreover, i believe that this may happens only in big bangs, not with black holes...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 months ago
Not in the same way. Everything with mass distorts space-time to some degree, this is what gravity is. However when a massive object, such as a black hole, rotates rapidly it distorts space-time in a manner known as, "frame-dragging". ➡️ Frame-dragging - wikipedia
Comment icon #4 Posted by Rolci 19 days ago
Which doesn't just "kick in" at a certain magical angular velocity now does it? And when you say "however when a massive object ... bla bla bla" do you not realize that there is no such thing? Or you also believe in a magical mass limit now? Like under that mass it's not massive but over it it's somehow "massive" (whatever you believe that word means). Can you explain what you define as massive, with scientific exactitude? I won't even ask you about your use of the word "rapidly". Jesus. And "in a manner"? How many other different "manners" are there? Can you name some? Do you ever think when ... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 19 days ago
@Rolci Do you always resort to insults when people use simple words, phrases and concepts you don't understand?   Really? Source: wiktionary Do you really believe that everything in the universe is massless or that there is nothing in the universe that has a large mass? Why not ask, you've already embarrassed yourself with your lack of comprehension of the word massive. Why stop there? Basic English comprehension is not your strong point is it?   It seems basic science comprehension is not your strong point either. There is nothing in my post that states or implies that there is a magical an... [More]

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